I'm in a Voxer group of instructionally techie people and the topic of teaching teachers came up the other day. It's not easy to teach teachers anything, not just technology, if there isn't one of two things tied to the training. It either has to be something they are going to be evaluated on or you have to have a culture of learning and risk taking established in your school. One, the evaluation, can be more volatile and like a "scare tactic." That's not a culture I'm jumping to be a part of, but society seems to be making more and more things high stakes. Schools have learned that's one way to get teacher's attention.
But the other culture that I prefer in schools is one of learning and risk taking. Our superintendent, who is likely within a decade of retiring (jokingly admitted it the other day), gave a Pecha Kucha talk for his back to school address. Similar to Ignite talks, Pecha Kucha talks are 20 slides, each auto advancing after 20 seconds. He mentioned that we expect teachers to be risk takers, so he needed to model it. He still claims that the applause was for the content, not the time.
A few weeks ago, while chatting with the middle school principal, he shared that when Chromebooks got introduced to each student last fall, he told teachers the expectation was that they integrated technology into their instruction. If it didn't work, that wasn't going to be reflected in their evaluation, so long as the plan was thought out. Not coincidentally, I have done no face to face training at the middle school or high school in regards to Google Classroom, but both schools have used the information I've sent out and I would be willing to bet well over 50% of teachers have set up their own classes in Google Classroom. And by the middle of October, all staff K-12 will be in Google Classroom, because I was informed today by our Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor that she, on her own, created classes that we will use during district wide staff development in October.
Just like a teacher models in the classroom to students what they expect, administration has to model for teachers. It's not going to be perfect, and that's OK. It's not perfect in the classroom either. FAIL = first attempt in learning